It seems the Coronavirus has upturned just about everything in our society - our habits, our finances, our occupations in many cases, our ability to socialize, and our verbage. "Unprecedented" is a word I've heard possibly more than any other over the last three months.
Two other words, "essential" and "non-essential" have become common in the daily lingo too. I cannot say I've become settled with them at all yet. I wish there were other, more appropriate words to use in their place.
If you are a teenager flipping burgers at the local McDonalds fast food joint, you've been declared "essential." (Please do not run down the path of assuming I'm mocking or degrading that job as a legitimate source of earning income. I'm not.) If you are a burger flipper, though you may not feel your work is highly exalted, if you're doing the job to the best of your ability, then you have no reason to feel ashamed. By current definition, remember, you're "essential" to the present needs of society.
Now, if you're a mother of several young ones, perhaps an infant and toddler or two (or more), your days are likely filled with breastfeeding, preparing bottles, changing diapers, mountains of laundry, incessantly hungry bellies, and the need to have ever watchful eyes out of the back of your head. You are literally responsible for keeping those little humans alive and hopefully healthy. Now, wait for it - you're "non-essential." How does that sit with you?
I want to be clear I'm not creating this post to gripe and whine (I'm fighting that urge, even though honestly I want to fuss.) After all, I'm an author. By current definition, I'm "non-essential."
No, instead I want to offer a different perspective and hopefully give you, whatever society currently deems you to be, "essential" or "non-essential," a large dose of encouragement.
In my Bible reading today, I pondered on 1 Chronicles 4:23:
"They were the potters ... they stayed there and worked for the king."
Although these people were involved in menial labor and found themselves elbow-deep in mud every minute of the day, (think layers of grease from splashing burgers at the grill, the poop on a mom's hands and clothing from changing dozens of diapers a day, and the thousands or words written and then painstakingly edited at an author's keyboard) these potters kept something clear in the front of their minds: They were working for the king.
And so, their work was valuable, "essential" even though today's current society would label them "non-essential."
Please remember today that whatever your task is, no matter how "lowly" others define your station, it is the Lord Jesus Christ you are serving. He is madly in love with you, utterly smitten with you from the first moment he conceived of you.
Work hard (for Him).
Work diligently (for Him).
Work with excellence (for Him).
You will have His attention.
You are "essential" to Him, no matter how others may define you.